Last year Breva made their debut with a mechanical weather machine for your wrist. This year it’s all about getting high; introducing the Génie 02.
The Génie 02
In many respects the new Génie 02 looks very similar to its predecessor the Génie 01 but as I have already discussed in a previous article (read it here) the similarities more or less end with aesthetics. In other words, whilst the dial designs look somewhat alike, the watches themselves actually perform quite different functions.
I won’t go into too much technical detail here but for those too lazy to click the link and read the other article the main difference is that the Génie 01 is designed to measure barometric pressure, whilst the job of the new Génie 02 is to determine your altitude, or in layman’s terms; how high you are.
To make that possible Breva – in conjunction with mechanical movement master Francois Mojon and his team at Chronode – had to develop a new set of aneroid capsules specifically for registering air pressure for altitude readings rather than barometric pressure.
If you look closely at 6 o’clock you can actually see these new capsules, which are made from a special non-magnetic memory-metal (now a Breva patented invention), which is lighter and stronger than aluminum and has twice the ductility of steel.
When the crown at 4 o’clock marked ‘Air’ is unscrewed the capsules receive a deep breath of the fresh air around you and begin to expand and contract accordingly. Simultaneously a high-precision arm goes to work multiplying by 200 times these small movements and relaying the calculated air pressure to the two altitude indications.
As you can see in the photos there is a small indicator at 4 o’clock which shows when the air valve is open or closed, as well as a colored band around the stem of crown itself. Just below that is the power reserve indicator, showing how much of the manual-wind movement’s 65-hour power supply remains.
Look over to the left at 8 o’clock and you will see the time display (hours and minutes), whilst arcing across the top of the dial is the large-scale altitude indicator, which displays up to 5,000 meters (or 16,400 feet). Completing things is the precision altimeter sub-dial at 2 o’clock displaying meters (or feet).
It’s all very intuitive and easy to read, which is important when you’re out in nature or up in a plane and want to focus more on what’s going on around you than on your wrist. Best of all though the Génie 02 is surprisingly stylish for such a practical watch.
Despite its seemingly imposing size – 44.7mm x 16.1mm – it wears extremely comfortably on the wrist thanks to its titanium construction and is definitely well-suited for more than just outdoor pursuits. Admittedly you wouldn’t wear it to a black tie dinner, but it certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a ritzy chalet in the French Alps or at your local flying club.
There are two versions of the Génie 02 available; Air and Terre. The former – and my personal favorite – is presented in a black DLC coated titanium case with red highlights, whilst the latter is presented in a titanium case with blue highlights. Both have the names prestigious ski resorts − Aspen, Vail, Las Lenas, Gstaad, St Moritz, Zermatt, Courchevel, Cortina, Kitzbuhel, and Lech − along with their altitudes, engraved around the perimeter of the caseback.
Both versions of the Génie 02 will be available from selected retailers later this year and will retail for US$132,000 each.
Check out the official Breva website for more information.
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